Tonight I spent several hours picking blackberries.
Here in Oregon, berries grow wild everywhere. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. In fact, blackberries are so prolific that they are considered weeds and millions of dollars are spent to kill the brambles.
A few years ago, two teenage girls stopped and asked me why I was picking blackberries. I explained that it was cheaper to invest a few hours of my time picking them than to buy them at the grocery store. The girls looked at me like I had tentacles and had slithered out of a spaceship right before their eyes. Not only do I like the price, I like the quiet.
Tonight, fenced in on one side by blackberry canes reaching 12 feet or higher and a wheat field on the other side, there were no sounds but the bees zipping around the few remaining flowers.
Silence … time to think … time to pray … time to be quiet.
This is an age that finds it’s place in constant noise; but there is great value in silence.
Turn on the tv to most church programs. You’ll see and hear more noise than necessary for a dozen churches. Now I enjoy a lively church service just as much as the next guy, but there is blessing that comes from quiet stillness before God too. Heaven, I’m sure, is an exciting place, but we’re reminded that The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him (Habakkuk 2:20).
Imagine the prophet Elijah, hiding in a cave from the wicked Queen Jezebel, listening to his ipod … while outside the cave, the Lord Himself passed by with a still small voice (First Kings 19:12). Elijah would have missed God, but he would have heard the latest popular song.
We surround ourselves with noise. Many voices vie for our attention, but only one of those voices really counts. It only counts, though, if we can hear Him through the noise of our lives.
I’m picking blackberries again tomorrow night.